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Patterns of employment relationships: the association between compensation policy and contractual ar

Authors: Fátima Suleman, Sérgio Lagoa, Abdul Suleman

Research Group: Innovation and Labour

Reference: Suleman, F., Lagoa, S., Suleman, A.(2017) Patterns of employment relationships: the association between compensation policy and contractual arrangements, International Journal of Human Resource Management, DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2017.1284884.

Date: 2017

Publisher: International Journal of Human Resource Management

Publication type: Scientific journal article

Research Project: PTDC/EGE-ECO/108547/2008

Abstract: Firms respond differently to labour market regulations and develop an employment relationship accordingly. We use linked employer–employee data to examine the relationship between compensation policies and contractual arrangements in large-sized firms in Portugal. In this country, the wages are regulated through minimum wage and collective agreement, while employment is protected by stringent employment legislation. The empirical analysis starts with a fuzzy clustering to identify typical compensation policies. Three major segments emerge from this analysis: Competitive, Internal Labour Markets and Incentive. The first segment comprises low-wage firms, which are highly responsive to market conditions. The other two reveal properties of internal labour markets, although the incentive-based firms reinforce the use of discretionary power to differentiate the workforce. Subsequently, we estimate a regression model to examine how the compensation policy interacts with contractual arrangement. Empirical evidence confirms the segmentation predictions, i.e. low, flexible wages and flexible contracts prevail in the same firms. Furthermore, vulnerable categories like young workers and female workers are over-represented in Competitive firms, while high-wages are associated with incentive devices benefiting white-collar employees. Apparently, firms foster inequality among segments of workers and often penalise or favour the same category of workers.

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